Wasps' place in Premiership final in doubt after COVID-19 chaos

Wasps, who finished second in the Premiership table, returned to the final for the first time in three years after defeating Bristol Bears in the semifinals. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Wasps' participation in the Gallagher Premiership final is in doubt after the club returned four more positive COVID-19 tests on Monday, bringing a total of 11 positive tests for the club within a week.

Wasps are not training as a group ahead of Saturday's final, after seven positive tests were returned last week -- four players, and three from the backroom staff.

The club's participation in Saturday's final is reliant on the next round of tests which take place on Tuesday, with the results published usually 48 hours later, but expected sooner.

If Wasps return further positive COVID-19 tests and cannot take part in the final, Bristol Bears will face Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham in the final.

Wasps will need a clean bill of health from Tuesday's results, as further positive tests could lead to them pulling out due to being unable to train, or to field a full matchday 23. Public Health England may also intervene if there are further positive tests.

As Bristol finished third, they would step in to take Wasps' place in the final if they are forced to pull out. This decision is down to contingency plans drawn up by Premiership Rugby, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Professional Game Board before the season resumed in August.

Following the results of Saturday's recent round of coronavirus tests, Wasps confirmed the additional positive results in a statement adding: "Those concerned are now self-isolating, as are their close contacts.

"After consultation with the medical leads at Premiership Rugby, the RFU and Public Health England, the club will continue not to train at this stage. A decision on whether the club will play in Saturday's Premiership Rugby Final will be made following the results of a further set of testing to be undertaken on Tuesday.

"The club's COVID-19 contact tracing, measures and protocols, which remain rigorous, will continue to be adhered to.

"Exeter Chiefs and Bristol Bears have been made aware of the situation prior to the public release of this information."